New Legal Defense Fund Helps Defend Self-Managed Abortion
Will cover legal fees for people prosecuted for ending their own pregnancies
If/When/How, the non-profit that runs the Repro Legal Helpline, has just launched a $2 million Repro Legal Defense Fund to help pay the legal expenses of people who face expensive, invasive court battles over self-managed abortion.
Even in states that are supposedly solidly pro-choice, aggressive police and prosecutors have twisted existing laws to investigate, arrest, and prosecute people for ending their own pregnancies or helping other people end theirs. The people who are usually targeted for this are – surprise! – low-income, non-white, LGBTQ+, or otherwise marginalized, and they often struggle to find and afford a lawyer to defend them. As the first fund of its kind, the Repro Legal Defense Fund will cover costs like bail, expert witnesses, court fees, and attorney fees and ensure they have a robust defense.
Given the increasing restrictions across the US on abortion access through clinics, it’s likely that more and more people will choose DIY abortion with pills or other methods. And that means more and more people will be at risk of being prosecuted for ending their own pregnancies – not just in the five states that have explicit laws against it, but anywhere with laws that can be contorted into criminalizing a pregnancy that doesn’t result in a live birth.
If you’re being targeted by the legal system for self-managing your own abortion or helping someone else self-manage their care, you can contact the fund directly for help from its legal experts and advocates, whether or not you already have an attorney. And if you have some cash to spare, please donate to make sure the Repro Legal Defense Fund can help as many people as possible!